Professionalisation of sports clubs

  • Christoffer Klenk Institute of Sport Science, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Markus Lang University of Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Dominik Schwizer Fachhochschule Graubünden, Switzerland
Keywords: professionalisation, commercialisation, governance, service provision


Sports clubs play a crucial role as they promote (elite) sport and physical activity and fulfill important societal functions. At the same time, sports clubs are confronted with manifold challenges related to developments in society and sport. Therefore, sports clubs tend to professionalise, a process by which sports clubs transform from volunteer-driven to increasingly business-like organisations (e.g., implement paid work, use management tools, restructure their club) to address these problems. In this symposium - an initiative of the Research Network in Sportmanagement Switzerland - the phenomena of professionalisation will be addressed from multiple perspectives by discussing the triggering causes, the transformative process, and the corresponding consequences with the overall objective of getting a more comprehensive understanding of professionalisation in sports clubs. Mrkonjic addresses good governance and professionalisation of non-profit sport clubs and Stieger et al. analyse professionalisation and its consequences for the governance of sports clubs in semi-professional team sports. Mustafi et al. focus on the transfer market for non-big five soccer clubs of Swiss Super League and Schulz et al. examine expectations of voluntary sports clubs with regard to support services of sports federations.

How to Cite
Klenk, C., Lang, M., & Schwizer, D. (2023). Professionalisation of sports clubs. Current Issues in Sport Science (CISS), 8(2), 030.